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Public Policy and Economic and Financial Crises: Beyond Political Economy?

Comparative Politics
European Politics
Public Administration
Public Policy
Social Policy
P344
Sabine Saurugger
Sciences Po Grenoble
Patrick Hassenteufel
Laboratoire Printemps – Université Versailles St Quentin en Yvelines – Paris Saclay

Saturday 16:00 - 17:40 (10/09/2016)

Building: Faculty of Law Floor: 1 Room: FL120

Abstract

The subprime crisis of 2007, followed by the sovereign debt crisis in 2009 has considerably modified the context in which public policy making takes place in Europe. European countries have been confronted with important budget deficits and level of debts which have put pressure on the policy structures, paradigms and ‘ways of doing things’. A series of recent publications (Bermeo & Pontusson, 2012 ; Streeck, Schäfer, 2013 ; Stuckler/Basu 2013 ; Schmidt/Thatcher 2013 ; Blyth, 2013, 2014 ; Thelen, 2014 as well as special issues: Governance, JEPP, Public Administration, Policy and Politics ...) have dealt with this puzzle from point of view of austerity politics, underlining the increased importance of budgetary and financial considerations on macro-economcic policy-making in political economy approaches. These studies concentrate more on the policy content when analysing the reaction to the crises than on the processes and interactions that led to those. Bermeo and Pontusson (2012), underline, in particular the distinctiveness between these crises and the instruments used to address previous economic and financial crises such as protectionism, devaluation, and nationalization, which were, for the most part, absent in the current policy options that governments considered from 2008 to today. Without neglecting this perspective, which became dominant in comparative politics, the papers of this panel aim at analysing the changing power relations between actors in policy-making under the stress, created by economic and financial crises. In line with this section’s attempt to overcome the traditional dualisms in political science such as structure vs. agency, the panel conceives of public policy as a ‘dynamic processes generated by recursively related elements’. The interaction between agents and structure, as well as the strategic use of structure by administrative agents (see also Jessop 2005), are at the centre of this panel’s papers. The specific transformations of actor configurations will be analysed from an actor-centred constructivist perspective (for an overview see Saurugger 2013), taking into account the multiple levels of action (supranational, national and local). References Bermeo, N., & Pontusson, J. (Eds.). (2012). Coping with Crisis. Russell Sage Foundation. Blyth, M. (2013). Austerity: the history of a dangerous idea. Oxford University Press. Blyth, M. (2013). Paradigms and paradox: The politics of economic ideas in two moments of crisis. Governance, 26(2), 197-215. Jessop, Bob (2005) Critical Realism and the Strategic-Relational Approach. New Formations: A Journal of Culture, Theory and Politics (56). pp. 40-53. ISSN 1741-0789 Saurugger, S. (2013). Constructivism and public policy approaches in the EU: from ideas to power games. Journal of European Public Policy, 20(6), 888-906. Schmidt, V., & Thatcher, M. (Eds.) (2013) Resilient Liberalism in Europe’s Political Economy, Contemporary European Politics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press Streeck, W., & Schäfer, A. (Eds.). (2013). Politics in the Age of Austerity. John Wiley & Sons. Stuckler, D., & Basu, S. (2013). The body economic: why austerity kills. Basic Books. Thelen, K. (2014). Varieties of Liberalization and the New Politics of Social Solidarity. Cambridge University Press.

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